TOMS club hosts 'One Day Without Shoes' event across campus

Zach Dorsch photo: Vice President for Student Life Gerard Tobin leaves his mark on the TOMS banner.Zach Dorsch photo: Vice President for Student Life Gerard Tobin leaves his mark on the TOMS banner.

Mercyhurst’s TOMS club helped spread awareness on the hazards that children without shoes experience daily by hosting the day-long event “One Day Without Shoes” on Tuesday, April 16.

This event encourages students across the world to go a day without shoes. Both faculty and students participated in the event at Mercyhurst as a way to appreciate what children around the world must endure.

The club kicked off the day by having faculty members paint the soles of their feet and press them on canvas to spell out TOMS. Students were then encouraged to place their own footprints around the border of the canvas.

The event ended with a short video that featured the feet of many within the Mercyhurst Community, including the TOMS Mercyhurst Campus Club, cheerleaders, soccer team, the dance department and the archaeology department.

TOMS Club President Adrianne LaGruth was pleased with the event’s largest turnout yet.

“Despite the rain, it didn’t discourage both students and faculty from showing their support,” LaGruth said.

TOMS Shoes provided pledge cards that listed facts about the importance of shoes for children, as well as the risks those without shoes face daily.

Children across the world who are currently walking around without shoes are susceptible to injury, catching soil-transmitted infections and parasites that can lead to death.

This risk of injury is not the only problem for these children. Some areas require their students to have shoes in order to attend school; without shoes these kids cannot acquire an education.

Senior TOMS Club member Larae Tymochko has participated in “One Day Without Shoes” for three years and is also passionate about the cause.

“Events like these are extremely important not only to raise awareness for this cause,” said Tymochko, “but it also brings unity to the campus.”

Events such as these help enforce the university’s rich history of service. “It is service that is the most important part of TOMS,” LaGruth said. “I don’t care about getting the shoes. It is the fact that someone else gets the shoes that need them.”